Published 17 July 2014
More power to tenants
Can you think of ways to make your neighbourhood a nicer place to live?
A lick of paint, less litter, a place you are proud to live in.
Would you like to live in a community where you get to know your neighbours by working together (for example, through tenant panels?
Can you think of things your council or housing association could do better?
Don’t keep it to yourself!
Does your landlord give you the chance to be a mystery shopper, a tenant inspector, or to be part of estate inspections?
Could you run things better?
With Cashback you could take over small services such as gardening and cleaning.
You can even set up a Tenant Management Organisation to take over the management of your neighbourhood. The government wants to help people get involved and take control of their neighbourhoods.
It’s called Tenant Involvement and Empowerment.
1. Tenant panels
Get organised. Get things done.
What is a tenant panel?
It is a group of residents from your neighbourhood who work with their landlord. They now have more powers to influence and shape services, and check how complaints are dealt with.
What do tenant panels do?
What you can do
The best tenant panels:
There are some good examples in the tenant panels booklet available from the National Tenant Organisations Policy Forum.
2. Community cashback
Savings for the community.
You can earn cash for your community by managing services like cleaning or grass-cutting.
A community cashback agreement is a win-win:
For the landlord it can mean things go better because they have satisfied tenants who care about their property.
For tenants it means up to £3,000 to help you get started.
Tenant cashback The savings are yours to keep. Ask your landlord if they offer a tenant cashback scheme. You could earn cash by organising your own repairs or doing it yourself.
The Russell Chambers experience
The Russell Chambers Residents Association in Camden were the first in the country to sign a community cashback agreement in July 2013. They have been delivering improved cleaning services to the shared spaces of their flats.
94% of the residents voted to continue the arrangement in a recent survey.
3. Manage where you live
You could help run your local housing services
the way you
Over 70,000 households in England are run by tenant management organisations.
It’s been shown that residents are more satisfied. Better still, they make savings, which they can decide how to use for their community.
We’ve recently made the process easier, so many more tenants can take up their Right to Manage:
The Childwall Valley experience
“Childwall Valley Estate Management Board (EMB) was established in the 1990s by a group of Liverpool City Council tenants because we were concerned about the decline of our estate.
We used our Right to Manage and took over housing management in 2000. Since then the estate has been transformed. Repairs response and re-let times are outstanding, rent arrears and levels of anti-social behaviour are low. The EMB has also become a focus for all sorts of other community services and activities, restoring not just the physical fabric of our estate but also the pride of our local community.”
Joan Minard, Chair, Childwall Valley Estate Management Board, Liverpool.
4. An example:
How Winchester City Council works together with tenants
In Winchester, the council and tenants are working in an equal partnership. The tenants get great service, and the council gets value for money. They have an agreement called a Tenant Participation Compact, which gets tenants, councillors and staff working closely together. They don’t just consult and talk, but actively work together on day-to-day management, inspecting estates and making decisions together. They communicate in many ways, such as training, social events, newsletters, forums, websites and meetings.
Winchester offers tenants a choice of things to do. They range from 2 hours a year to join a focus group or Streetmeet, to 3 hours a month to become a Tenant Inspector.
They can choose from:
Winchester residents get training to help them get involved, and say that they learn valuable life skills. Over 40 tenants have been trained to act as inspectors, monitoring grounds maintenance services.
Visit Winchester City Council for more information.
5. Choose to take part
Ask your landlord what their plans are for
Search your landlord’s website or call them to ask what is happening in your neighbourhood.
6. . Useful contacts
Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS)
Tenant Central is run by TPAS and helps tenants engage with their landlords. Residents can get training and guidance.
Address: Suite 4B Trafford Plaza, 73 Seymour Grove, Manchester M16 0LD
Phone: 0800 0356351 (free phone)
Tenants and Residents Organisations of England (TAROE)
TAROE is a national organisation for tenants’ and residents’ groups across England. They help to get equal rights for all tenants and to improve the quality of life in local communities.
Address: The Old Police Station, Mersey Road, Runcorn, WA7 1DF
Phone: 01928 798120
National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations (NFTMO)
NFTMO offers support to Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) going through the Right to Manage process. They also advise about Community Cashback.
Address: c/o Burrowes Street TMC, Resource Centre,Burrowes Street, Walsall, WS2 8NN
Phone: 01704 227053
Trafford Hall – Tenant Futures
Trafford Hall offers residential training for tenants who want to gain a wide range of skills to play a bigger role in their community.
Address: Ince Lane, Wimbolds Trafford, Chester CH2 4JP
Phone: 01244 300246
Homes and Communities Agency
Homes and Communities Agency is the regulator that sets standards and intervenes where there have been serious breaches.
Address: 7th Floor Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7BN
Phone: 0300 1234 500
Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
You can find out more about tenant involvement and the support available for the schemes described in this leaflet.
Follow us on Twitter @tenantpower
Housing Ombudsman Service
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service to sort out a dispute that you cannot resolve locally.
Address: 81 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN
Phone: 0300 111 30000
Disclaimer: The Department is not responsible for the content of external links. They are the responsibility of those organisations.
Published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. © Crown copyright 2014.